Now out on tour across the UK, The Wedding Singer musical has been delighting audiences nationwide. Ahead of its stint at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, we take a look at why the frothy spectacle has been proving such a success.
Whether you’re a fan of the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy hit ‘The Wedding Singer’ or not, everyone loves a bit of 80s cheese: big hair, even bigger shoulder pads, glam make-up and screaming power ballads.
Which is why the theatrical adaptation of the 90s rom-com is proving so popular. Written by Tim Herlihy, directed by Frank Coraci, the stage show tells the same story as the film, but throws in some extra 80s inspired tunes for added fun. You get all the humour and warmth of the source material, but a little more razzle dazzle for your buck.
It’s 1985, in the rough and tumble bars of New Jersey. Robbie (Avenue Q and Legally Blonde’s Jon Robyns) is a down and out wedding singer, recently dumped by his fiancée and freshly smitten with the beautiful Julia (X Factor’s Cassie Compton). Trouble is, she’s only got eyes for Wall Street oil streak, Glenn Gulia (X-Factor runner-up Ray Quinn), her long-term boyfriend who is stubbornly refusing to put a ring on it. Will these lovelorn souls find their way through a sea of hairspray and spandex to find each other?
You can’t have a show set in the 80s without tunes that correctly capture the era, and the tracks written for the show by composer Matthew Sklar and lyricist Chad Beguelin are stone-cold bangers. The sound captured is so 80s you could close your eyes and swear Duran Duran were in the room.
‘Casualty of Love’ is a Bon Jovi inflected rocker, riddled with grin-inducing cowbell, while opening track ‘It’s Your Wedding Day’ has the playful vibe of a Huey Lewis number. And if it’s power ballads you’re after ‘If I Told You’ is a worthy contender – one you’d imagine Xtreme themselves would’ve loved to croon.
Film-fans will inevitably be wondering if we get the rapping granny that provided the stand-out moment of the Sandler flick: get set to be delighted. Ruth Maddoc all but steals the show as the foul-mouthed rapping nana, Rosie, also running off with all the best lines.
Each of the cast members present a bona fide triple threat: singing, dancing and acting with aplomb. The fashions cultivate all the most cringe-worthy moments of the era – audiences that went to see the show in Manchester have been showing up in 80s fancy dress, so it’s a truly inclusive experience.
A little bit sexy, a whole lot of funny and fabulous: the Wedding Singer is a night out not to miss.
It runs from September 26-30. For more information and to book, head to http://kingsportsmouth.co.uk/whats-on/musical/the-wedding-singer/